Love Stallion - Unforgettable Ride
“Slow Release” is, in some ways, a surprising opener for Love Stallion’s Unforgettable Ride. These Denver glam rockers, thoroughly steeped in 80’s hair metal and hard rock, are expert at creating memorable choruses and irresistible hooks and that talent is on full display with this cut. You might expect them, however, to kick off the album with a more uptempo number, but going in a different direction doesn’t hurt the opening at all. Listeners are treated to an even better example with the album’s second tune “Ignite the Night”, a prototypical title for this sort of hard rock, and Love Stallion more than lives up to it with an especially bracing chorus and an outstanding vocal presentation, including backing voices, overall. Lead singer Aaron Hart distinguishes himself in the space of these two songs alone thanks to his obvious versatility. “Big Rock Radio” has one of the strongest riffs you’ll hear on Unforgettable Ride and Hart delivers one of the album’s more confident singing performances, but lead guitar player Ron McLemore is a stand out as well thanks to his superb six string work. They prove, time after time, to be extraordinarily adept at refurbishing long standing elements of hard rock with their own distinctive flair.
Aaron Hart is a real gem on vocals, but he’s supported well at every turn by warm backing vocals reaching a high point with the song “Lazy Summer Day”. The patient, artful beginning, quiet by Love Stallion’s standards, soon evolves into one of their best rock numbers as well and the vocal strengths of the song are its main appeal. “Hide Me Away” continues introducing us to a more daring side of the band’s musical imagination as it segues from the start-stop riffing of the main motif into some evocative playing just after the second half of the song. The backing vocals, once again, are a standout element of the band’s attack and sweeten this number a great deal. McLemore stands out again with his blazing lead guitar on the track “Tinker Toys” and the drumming, as well, makes this song special thanks to its swagger and fluid pacing.
“Valentine” breaks with much of what comes before it as the performance is built around more of the aforementioned great drumming and steady, muscular bass work from Aero X. Changing up their approach pays off well for Love Stallion as this ends up being one of the album’s gems and Aaron Hart underlines its quality with, arguably, his finest all-around vocal on Unforgettable Ride. The album concludes with the breezily paced, yet hard-hitting, “Trans-Am” and the band makes an astute decision ending this release on such an energetic note. There’s something here for everyone who loves hard rock guitar, not just listeners smiling through a nostalgia trip. There isn’t a hint of winking or irony in these performances, but Love Stallion are clearly having a good time on Unforgettable Ride and they make sure their audience does as well.